Saturday, 8 April 2017


Measuring instruments: Micrometre screw gauge vs vernier caliper


Vernier caliper and micrometer screw gauge

Measuring instruments: Micrometre screw gauge vs vernier calliper

What is measurement?

     This is the bedrock of the trade and statistics used for centuries now. It is the ability of one to ascertain the height, size and quantity of something by comparison.

      Measurement is defined as the determination of the quantity, size or magnitude of an object or substance by comparing it with something of known or standard measurement.


This is an indicator of the different units of measurement. All measuring devices must  come with a type scales using units of metric systems.

Note: Length, mass and time are three standard units. Other units includes:
Candelas (Cd): For measurement of intensity.

Mole (m): For measurement of substances with respect to atom.

Kelvin (k): For measurement of temperature.

Micrometre screw gauge.

      This is a measurement instrument used for measuring small distances of objects that are too small for direct measurement of diameters greater than 2.5cm that can fit within the jaws of the micrometre screw gauge as seen below;
 micrometer screw gauge

Uses: For measuring diameter of meter wire, thickness of glass plate, for small spherical objects etc. 

How to read a Micrometer Screw Gauge 

Reading of Micrometre Screw Gauge = Reading of main scale + Reading of thimble scale 
Main scale and thimble scale
A clarification of where the Main scale and thimble scale is. 
Reading the micrometer
Different micrometer screw gauge comes with different units of measurements. From the figure the Main scale(mm) reads 5.5mm, as that is where the mark ends. Then the Thimble scale(mm) reads 0.3mm, which is the point the thimble scale lines up with the main scale.

Write your answers the the comment section for the practice questions below. 

Vernier caliper

      This is a measuring instrument similar to hygrometer screw gauge but are quite different. The vernier callipers are used for measurement of internal and external distances allowing larger scales than the micrometre screw gauge.

Vernier Caliper
For the figure above, 

  1. Outside jaws
  2. Inside jaws
  3. Depth probe 
  4. Main scale (Lower) 
  5. Main scale (upper) 
  6. Minor scale (Lower) 
  7. Minor scale (upper) 
  8. Retainer (used to block movable parts) 

Uses: this instrument is used for measurement of cylinders and hollow tubes (e.g. test tubes).

How to read a Vernier Caliper 

Reading of Vernier Caliper = Reading on major scale + Reading on minor scale 

Note: When the vernier calliper is shut (that is; not measuring anything), the major and minor axis line up. 

To measure, you'll need to put the object desired between the Jaws of the measuring scale and close it. 

For Example: 
Let's read the figure below, 

For the major scale(lower)  reading: 
 From the figure below, the zero (0) on the minor scale is a bit past an exact line up with the major axis, it is a little past the 0.7cm mark on the major axis. 

For the minor scale (lower) reading:
Since the zero (0) on the minor scale does not line up well with the major scale exactly, we need to find where on the entire minor scale it does. 
  From the figure above, the 7th mark on the minor scale lines up perfectly with the major scale.

For the smallest unit of measurement:
At the tail of the vernier caliper, you'll find a number (in this case it's 0.05mm), which is the unit difference for the minor scale. So the minor scale lines up at a 0.7mm
Tail of the vernier caliper
Tail of the vernier caliper

Final Calculations 

Reading of Vernier Caliper = 0.7cm + 0.7mm
     = 0.7cm + 0.07cm 
     = 0.77cm (plus or minus 0.005cm)


This instrument are quite easy to use and remember to use them for measuring the right objects.
   If you have any suggestions on the topics I should cover next. Please comment below or use the contact us page.


  1. Describe briefly the measurement using the both vernier calliper and micrometer screw Guage drawings diagram were necessary

    1. Thanks for the feedback Jahfar, hope it's clearer now.